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Mr. Prescott, you don't know shit when it comes to William Shakespeare! William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon wrote the plays, sonnets, and narrative poems by William Shakespeare. Find and read THE CASE FOR SHAKESPEARE by Scott McCrea.

Those Stratfordians are a testy bunch, aren't they? : )

According to Wikipedia, Shakespeare's last plays were written 10 years or so after de Vere's death in 1604. How do your sources answer this?

I agree wholeheartedly. It has become increasingly obvious to me that de Vere is Shakespeare and Mr. Anderson has brilliantly made that clear. Wonder what your reaction is to the attempt to fit Sir Henry Neville into Shakespeare's shoes? Do you think all the resultant publicity will help or hurt the Oxfordian cause?

Ginny wrote,
>According to Wikipedia, Shakespeare's last plays were written 10 years or so after de Vere's death in 1604. How do your sources answer this?

The dating of the plays is highly subjective and controversial. Nearly all of them can easily be dated to 1604 or earlier. The Tempest is the one play for which a fairly strong post-1604 case can be made, but even that date is far from certain. A sample of the Oxfordian arguments on this subject may be read here.

Howard wrote,
>Wonder what your reaction is to the attempt to fit Sir Henry Neville into Shakespeare's shoes?

To be honest, I haven't followed the Neville story closely. So many candidates have been proposed over the years that it's hard to keep track of them all. But de Vere seems like far and away the best "fit." Any publicity will probably help the Oxfordian cause, if only by casting doubt on the official story.

Mark Anderson has set forth a tremendously persuasive case and I can't wait to see how he and others will follow up on this. The Stratfordians, of course, will not go quietly, but I do think that they will eventually go.

In my ignorance, I know next-to-nothing about anything regarding Shakespeare, except Macbeth, and Romeo and Juliet. Of all the essays on Michael Prescott's website, the Shakespeare ones are just about the only ones I haven't read!

I can't think what they're going to do if it turns out Shakespeare wasn't Shakespeare. If Shakespeare wasn't Shakespeare, then who exactly was the Shakespeare that everyone thought was Shakespeare for all these years? Ah, my head...

At any rate, has anyone here read 'THE CASE FOR SHAKESPEARE'? It doesn't seem to be getting any mention.

In my ignorance, I know next-to-nothing about anything regarding Shakespeare, except Macbeth, and Romeo and Juliet. Of all the essays on Michael Prescott's website, the Shakespeare ones are just about the only ones I haven't read!

I can't think what they're going to do if it turns out Shakespeare wasn't Shakespeare. If Shakespeare wasn't Shakespeare, then who exactly was the Shakespeare that everyone thought was Shakespeare for all these years? Ah, my head...

At any rate, has anyone here read 'THE CASE FOR SHAKESPEARE'? It doesn't seem to be getting any mention.

And what just happened there?

And what just happened there?

And what just happened there?

>If Shakespeare wasn't Shakespeare, then who exactly was the Shakespeare that everyone thought was Shakespeare for all these years?

If the anti-Stratfordians, including me, are right, then William Shakespeare of Stratford was a smart, ambitious provincial lad who came to the big city of London, made some theatrical connections, acted on stage, perhaps purchased or commissioned some playscripts from starving authors, and ended up as a shareholder in the Globe Theatre. He invested shrewdly, sued over small amounts of money, and was tight with a dollar, er, pound. He made a lot of money and retired to Stratford.

And oh yes, along the way he was engaged as a front man for the nobleman Edward de Vere, who was turning his court masques (short plays) into full-length plays for the public stage, but who for various reasons could not have his own name associated with the works.

Some anti-Stratfordians belittle William, calling him a dunce or an illiterate. Even Mark Anderson labels him "a loudmouthed actor." But probably he was no dummy, and he almost certainly knew how to read, though he may not have been very proficient at writing (his shaky signatures don't inspire much confidence in that department). Anyone who rises to the top of the entertainment business is likely to be ambitious and determined, and people who were involved with the theater in the late 1500s were generally a low-class bunch who hung out with prostitutes and pickpockets. (The theater, as entertainment, was roughly on par with bear-baiting, a form of animal abuse that qualified as "sport" in that age.) My picture of William is of a slightly shady, slightly seedy, but supremely confident showman and entrepreneur.

In other words, not too different from most people in show business today!

>Michael Prescott wrote:

The dating of the plays is highly subjective and controversial. Nearly all of them can easily be dated to 1604 or earlier. The Tempest is the one play for which a fairly strong post-1604 case can be made, but even that date is far from certain.

The most recent Oxfordian response is here:

http://www.shakespearefellowship.org/virtualclassroom/tempest/kositsky-stritmatter%20Tempest%20Table.htm

Hi Michael,

You had previously indicated a preference
for the Orthodox Chronology of the plays.

Now you seem to accept
Anderson's standard Oxfordian Chronology.

Have you rejected the Orthodox Chronology?

And why are false deaths of such interest to Oxford?
-------------------------------------
False deaths in the Orthodox Chronology
......................................
c.1590 Henry VI, Parts II and III

c.1590-1591 Henry VI, Part I

c.1592 Richard III
_____ The Comedy of Errors

c.1593 Titus Andronicus
_____ Taming of the Shrew

c.1594 Two Gentlemen of Verona
_____ Love's Labour's Lost
_____ Romeo And Juliet...........Juliet

c.1595 Richard II
_____ A Midsummer Night's Dream

c.1596 King John
_____ The Merchant of Venice

c.1597 Henry IV part I

c.1597-1598 Henry IV part II

c.1599 Much Ado About Nothing......Hero
_____ Henry V
_____ Julius Ceasar
_____ As You Like It

c.1601 Twelfth Night.......Sebastian, Viola
_____ Hamlet..............Claudius

c.1602 Troilus and Cressida (1609)

c.1603 All's Well That Ends Well (1623)..Helena
---------------------------------------------
1604 Edward de Vere
.............................................
"No longer mourn for me when I am dead,
Than you shall hear-the surly sullen bell;
Give warning to the world that I am fled
From this vile world, with vilest worms to dwell;
Nay, if you read this line, remember not
The hand that writ it."
--------------------------------------------
c.1604 Measure for Measure (1623)....Claudio
_____ Othello (1622)................Desdemona

c.1605 King Lear (1608)
_____ Macbeth (1623)

c.1606 Antony and Cleopatra (1623)

c.1607 Coriolanus (1623)
_____ Timon of Athens (1623)

c.1608 Pericles Prince of Tyre (1609)..Thaisa, Marina

c.1609 Cymbeline (1623).....Imogen/Fidele, Posthumous

c.1610 The Winter's Tale (1623)...........Hermione

c.1611 The Tempest (1623)...Prospero, Ferdinand, Alonso

c.1612 Henry VIII (1623)
--------------------

Sincerely, Art Neuendorffer

In bringing up Shakespeare's interest in "false deaths," I assume you wish to argue that Christopher Marlowe faked his own death and then wrote the works of Shakespeare. This theory held some appeal to me for a while, but I now find the parallels between Oxford's life and the subject matter of the plays (and poems) too compelling to ignore.

False deaths are an old literary device. N.T. Wright devotes quite a few pages of his book The Resurrection of the Son of God (a historical study of the story of Jesus's resurrection) to popular romances that circulated in the first century AD. These romances frequently used the plot device of the hero or heroine apparently dying (and even being buried), only to be revealed as miraculously alive. So the device dates back at least 2,000 years.

Regarding the chronology of Shakespeare's works, I have no idea what the correct dates are. I don't think anyone does.

Michael: 'In bringing up Shakespeare's interest in "false deaths," I assume you wish to argue that Christopher Marlowe faked his own death and then wrote the works of Shakespeare. This theory held some appeal to me for a while, but I now find the parallels between Oxford's life and the subject matter of the plays (and poems) too compelling to ignore.'
............................................................
Not neccessarily. I'm actually arguing that Oxford's quiet death in 1604 (with no tomb, no will, no eulogies...) was faked. After having a wife & children Lenny Bernstein went off in later life to live in a homosexual community; I envision something like that (perhaps, a long deserved & self imposed Italian exile) for Edward de Vere.

Lord Oxford wrote his early works under
the signatures E.O., L.O. & MAR-L.O.;
his later works were a vast improvement
but he really needed more time to complete them.
............................................................
Michael: 'False deaths are an old literary device. N.T. Wright devotes quite a few pages of his book The Resurrection of the Son of God (a historical study of the story of Jesus's resurrection) to popular romances that circulated in the first century AD. These romances frequently used the plot device of the hero or heroine apparently dying (and even being buried), only to be revealed as miraculously alive. So the device dates back at least 2,000 years.'
............................................................
Perhaps the most important Shakespeare false death (vis a vis Oxford)
was that of Claudius' namesake Claudio (in MfM of 1604)
based upon "Vico" in Cinthio's _Novella_

However, "Vico" was actually executed!
---------------------------------------------------------
Note that:

1) MfM Claudio's disgraced girlfriend was "JULIET"
2) MAAN Claudio's disgraced girlfriend was "HERO"

3) And a messenger named Claudio revealed
that Hamlet was alive in Hamlet's letters
............................................................
Michael: 'Regarding the chronology of Shakespeare's works, I have no idea what the correct dates are. I don't think anyone does.'
............................................................
Well, you used to have good reasons for accepting the
orthodox chronology; perhaps you have just forgotten. :-)

Art Neuendorffer

P.S.: Who else besides Oxford would have the chutzpah
to put "Shake-speare" into Psalm 46?
---------------------------------------------------------
Measure for Measure Act 4 Scene 2

Pro.: Call hether Barnardine and Claudio:
Th' one has my pitie; not a iot the other,
Being a Murtherer, though he were my brother.

Enter Claudio.

Looke, here's the Warrant Claudio, for thy death,
'Tis now dead midnight, and by eight to morrow

*Thou must be made immortall*
------------------------------------------------------

>I'm actually arguing that Oxford's quiet death in 1604 (with no tomb, no will, no eulogies...) was faked

It's possible, but I'd rather not get too tangled up in conspiracies. They just make the basic Oxfordian case that much harder to swallow. This is also an objection I have to the view voiced by Hank Whittemore that Oxford and Queen Elizabeth had a child, who grew up to be Henry Wriothesley. It is certainly possible, but it's just one more conspiracy to have to explain. (On the other hand, Whittemore has put together an impressively comprehensive argument that the Sonnets describe this relationship and its political upshot. It's in his new book The Monument.)

>Lord Oxford wrote his early works under
the signatures E.O., L.O. & MAR-L.O.;

Are you saying Oxford was the real author of Marlowe's plays? I would find this very doubtful. Marlowe, unlike Will Shakspere of Stratford, got into some pretty hot water because of his authorship of those plays. If he had been a front man, the authorities would not have been so interested in him - just as they were not interested in Will even after the seditious staging of

>Well, you used to have good reasons for accepting the
orthodox chronology; perhaps you have just forgotten. :-)

I was once somewhat taken with Garry Wills' argument in Witches and Jesuits that Macbeth was inspired by the Gunpowder Plot, which took place after Oxford's (reported) death. But I reread Wills' book a short while ago and didn't find it that convincing the second time. Otherwise, the only plays for which post-1604 dates have been argued in detail are The Tempest and Henry VIII. The Tempest is a source of ongoing controversy. Henry VIII was almost certainly extended and revised by John Fletcher, which could have happened long after Oxford's death.

>Who else besides Oxford would have the chutzpah
to put "Shake-speare" into Psalm 46?

I suspect that this was just a coincidence. In a book as large as the Bible, all kinds of "hidden messages" can be found. Consider the pseudo-scholarly book The Bible Code, which came out a few years ago.

In the above comment, some text was dropped out. The last line of the fourth paragraph should read: "... after the seditious staging of Richard II."

Art:'I'm actually arguing that Oxford's quiet death in 1604 (with no tomb, no will, no eulogies...) was faked'

Michael: 'It's possible, but I'd rather not get too tangled up in conspiracies. They just make the basic Oxfordian case that much harder to swallow.'
..................................
I'm afraid there aren't too many alternatives here. The purported author for 400 years is the virtual antithesis of the actual author in almost every way. Such a situation requires either:

1) a massive conspiracy or
2) massive stupidity

on the part of scholars.

Now I think I'm a smart guy but I stand in humble awe before the collective wisdom of human kind so I opt for a conspiracy very smart people. If you think you a smarter than 400 years of scholarship in any subject whatever be my guest. :-)

Art Neuendorffer

Art: "Lord Oxford wrote his early works under
the signatures E.O., L.O. & MAR-L.O.;"

Michael: "Are you saying Oxford was the real author of Marlowe's plays? I would find this very doubtful. Marlowe, unlike Will Shakspere of Stratford, got into some pretty hot water because of his authorship of those plays. If he had been a front man, the authorities would not have been so interested in him - just as they were not interested in Will even after the seditious staging of Richard II."
.........................................
Shake-speare, Mar-LO & Lord Oxford all tweaked the nose of the establishment pretty badly but only Oxford had any real motive to do so or the power to get away with it with impunity. This fact more than anything else is the primary reason to question the legitimacy of both Shakespeare & Marlowe.

Look carefully at the portraits of Shakespeare, Marlowe & Oxford and you will notice that the are all wearing virtually identical gold shaped buttons.

The true test, though, is both objective & scientific:
almost any computer style analysis program will show that

1) Marlowe's plays are more consistent with early Shakespeare tragedies

than

2) early Shakespeare is consistent with late Shakespeare.

And you can take that one to the bank. :-)

I don't doubt that there was a conspiracy to cover up Oxford's authorship of the plays. But what some Oxfordians propose goes far beyond that, to include:

a. a conspiracy to cover up Oxford and Queen Elizabeth's illegitimate child

b. a conspiracy to deny this child the throne as Elizabeth's heir

c. a conspiracy to fake Oxford's death in 1604

None of these conspiracies is essential to the Oxfordian case. Mark Anderson, for instance, does not include any of them in his bio of Oxford.

I think the more conspiracies Oxfordians propose, the less plausible our position will seem. One conspiracy is believable enough (at least to me); two or three or four start to strain credulity.

The computer comparisons are interesting. There is some info about one method of computer analysis at:

http://unix.dsu.edu/~johnsone/four.html

I don't know enough about this technique to assess its reliability.

Reading further on the computer comparison issue, I came across a page in John Baker's Marlovian site. After enthusiastically reporting that Marlowe and Shakespeare had the same or nearly the same average word lengths, Baker then adds:

"Stop the Presses!!!!

"Peter Farey writes that these pairs also have very close average word lengths.

">Charles Dickens and George Eliot

">Thomas Hardy and Andrew Lang

">Lord Tennyson and Robert Browning

">Baroness Orczy and Virginia Woolf

">Oscar Wilde and Conan Doyle

">Mark Twain and Ben Jonson

">Oliver Goldsmith and Jane Austen

">William Wordsworth and Samuel T. Coleridge

">Mary Shelley and Emily Bronte.

">In every case, the profiles are closer than that of Shakespeare's canon to Marlowe's."

If this info from Farey is correct, it would cast doubt on the validity of word-length comparisons, at least.

The page is at:

http://www2.localaccess.com/marlowe/mendhal.htm

Art: "Well, you used to have good reasons for accepting the
orthodox chronology; perhaps you have just forgotten. :-)"

Michael: "I was once somewhat taken with Garry Wills' argument in Witches and Jesuits that Macbeth was inspired by the Gunpowder Plot, which took place after Oxford's (reported) death. But I reread Wills' book a short while ago and didn't find it that convincing the second time."
.........................................................................
Well, let's discuss Macbeth. I was clearly written (as was Hamlet in part) to honor and amuse the new king James. But a sick dying Oxford would have to obsess entirely upon his masterpiece Hamlet. And when, for Christ's sake, was he to fit in his swan song _The Tempest_?

Oxfordians have wasted far too much time trying to fit the plays into Edward de Vere's truncated life span (for no better reason than that has become the traditional orthodox Oxfordian approach).

Computer analysis will eventually prove that Oxford

1) mastered his play writing skills writing MAR-LO,
2) reached his crescendo in the first decade of 1600 and
3) finished with a slew of comedies emphasising false death & exile (because that was exactly his situation at the time...comfortable as that exile was).
.........................................................................
Michael: "Otherwise, the only plays for which post-1604 dates have been argued in detail are The Tempest and Henry VIII. The Tempest is a source of ongoing controversy. Henry VIII was almost certainly extended and revised by John Fletcher, which could have happened long after Oxford's death."
.........................................................................
All is TRUE was almost certainly written earlier for Elizabeth; it was a fitting play to end the mythology of the "public playhouse" Globe theatre.
--------------------------------------------------------------
Phoney (nearly identical)letters (part of a conspiracy):
--------------------------------------------------------------
"a new play called all is triewe"
---------------------------------------------------------------
Letter from Henry Bluett to Richard Weeks, July 4, 1613:

"On tewsday last there was acted at the GLOBE a new play called
all is triewe wch had been acted not passinge 2 or 3 times
before. there came many people to see it in so much that ye
howse was VERy full and as the play was almost ended the
house was fired wth shooting off a Chamber wch was stopt
wth towe wch was blown up into the thetch of
the house and so burnt downe to the ground."
---------------------------------------------------------------
"VERy full" THATCH house burnt to the "VERy grounds."
---------------------------------------------------------------
Letter from Sir Henry WOttON (former spy for Essex)
to Edmund Bacon on July 2, 1613:

The King's players had a new play, called All is True,
representing some principal pieces of the reign of
Henry VIII, which was set forth with many extraordinary
circumstances of pomp and majesty....Now, King Henry
making a masque at the Cardinal Wolsey's house, and certain
chambers being shot off at his entry, some of the paper, or
other stuff, wherewith one of them was stopped, did light on
the THATCH, where being at first but an idle smoke, and
their eyes more attentive to the show, it kindled inwardly,
and ran around like a train, consuming within less
than an hour the whole house to the VERy grounds.
-----------------------------------------------------------
Art Neuendorffer

Art: "Who else besides Oxford would have the
chutzpah to put "Shake-speare" into Psalm 46?"

Michael: "I suspect that this was just a coincidence.:
...........................................................
Well, one can't be TOO obvious when engaged in 'blasphemy'.

KJV was meant to honor James I who 'coincidentally' was of the
46th generation from Jesus Christ in PRIORY of SION records:

Can anybody answer me this question: what is the controversies revolving the Bard? Thanks

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